The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the text of the ePrivacy Directive. The purpose of the consultation is to ensure that it is consistent with both technological advances and the content of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is set to enter into force as of Spring/Summer 2018 (see our article here).

The Commission has already identified a number of potential problem areas with the Directive which may need updating. As such, the review of the Directive has the following three main objectives:

  • simplifying the electronic marketing rules to avoid inconsistencies between Member States.
  • ensuring consistency of ePrivacy rules with the GDPR.
  • enhancing security and confidentiality of communications.

The consultation will be open to all interested parties for submissions until 5 July 2016. The Commission will then use this feedback to prepare a new legislative proposal on ePrivacy, which is expected by the end of 2016.

The launch of the consultation highlights the need to ensure that the ePrivacy Directive is fit for the digital age and for the challenges facing Europe in relation to privacy. It is one of the key actions of the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy to strengthen trust in online services and will be an interesting development to follow in the coming months.